God Don't Never Change

God Don't Never Change

Ashley Cleveland has released many excellent albums during her years in Christian music, but there’s nothing in her catalog quite like 2009’s God Don’t Never Change — in fact, few artists have achieved as compelling a fusion of gospel, blues and rock as this one contains. Cleveland digs deep to come up with sanctified numbers made famous by the likes of the Fairfield Four, the Rev. Gary Davis and Blind Willie Johnson. In tandem with husband/producer/guitarist Kenny Greenberg, she renders them with the ferocity of the Exile on Main Street-era Rolling Stones, giving the Bible-based lyrics an apocalyptic power. From the acoustic-driven thrust of “My God Called Me This Morning” and “Samson and Delilah” to the electric attack of “You Gotta Move” and “Denomination Blues,” the music here is bracing in its fervor. Some tracks — most notably “Joy Joy” and “Live the Life” — are treated with the intimacy of confessions. More often, though, Cleveland takes on a prophetic voice, making songs like “Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning” and “When This World Comes to an End” feel like otherworldly visions.

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